PATRIARCHY’S OBSESSION WITH SIZE
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
It’s no surprise that body shaming is something we face almost every day, but what is surprising and shocks most people is that skinny shaming is as hurtful and demeaning as fat shaming.
“You’re soooo thin!”, “Don’t you eat anything?”, “The wind will knock you out, haha!”, “You look malnourished”, and many more such comments come up almost every day in my life and that of probably every other skinny person out there. Skinny shaming usually takes a backseat to fat-shaming when it comes to body stereotyping because of the image of a perfect body set by the fashion industry in its early ages with their size 0. For some peculiar reason, society never fails to show how you’re not enough, especially women. They never forget to remind how small my waist is, how skinny my “chicken” legs are or how flat my figure is and then they fail to understands how “skinny shaming” is a problem as real as fat shaming. It means to criticize people for their relatively thinner appearance. It might seem odd to define a term as self-explanatory as this but is essential for people who don’t fully understand why it's a bad thing. Read it again and think about the times you have humorously passed a comment or questioned this aspect of someone, which is beyond their control. Being thin is neither a sign of being unhealthy nor a privilege either. It can be caused by reasons ranging from medical to genetic. The toll these comments take on an individual have a very real negative impact on their social approach, personal diets, self-confidence, and consciousness regarding their bodies. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve given up a dress or any garment that I LOVED because it enhances my bulging bones or a flat ass and gives people an opening to shame me on it. It’s high time we accept people for all body kinds and embrace them. All bodies are different and react uniquely to routines, exercises, diets, and medical backgrounds. Before passing judgments on anyone’s body, think. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel about receiving those remarks. Help people understand the real essence of body positivity, speak for all. Put an end to this patriarchal notion, of feeling insecure about something as shallow as looks. Body shaming is body shaming whether it’s a size 0 or size 20. The quote "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" suits quite well here. True beauty may be internal and shining through your personality much more than your body or physical appearance. Love your body and work on it the way you want to. Your body has already seen the brunt of so many. Always remember, when someone judges you, it doesn't define who you are, it defines who they are.
- Ashika Bothra is a student at NIFT, Delhi. ‘A list of the things that help me de-stress include food, travel and art. I’ve been painting since I could hold a brush. Ashika is also a part time professional model and has modelled for Sukriti and Aakriti; Brides Today (Magazine) and Amazon.